Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Review: Thunderstike #1


THUNDERSTRIKE #1 PREVIEW Script, Plot and Pencils: Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz Finished Art: Sal Buscema Colorist: Bruno Hang Letterer: David Sharpe Back-Up: "Only Human" Words: Tom DeFalco Pictures: Todd Nauck Letterer: David Sharpe Colorist: Andres Moss Publisher: Marvel Release Date: November 24th, 2010   Aptly titled "The World Still Needs Heroes," Thunderstrike #1 reminds us that, in an industry where more and more of the books in the market are starring the iconic heroes of yesteryear, we should not forget the new up-and-coming characters and their respective titles as they bring a fresh perspective and new outlook to an old game -- as Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema did here. The issue begins with a young Kevin Masterson pummeling an honor student for no other apparent reason than he can. Hardly the makings of a hero, let alone a superhero, Kevin is a bully, full of resentment with no love for the so-called heroes that abandoned his father, Eric Masterson the original Thunderstrike, which is the base for his erratic outbreaks. Kevin gets the call from Steve Rogers with a visit from Sharon Carter where he makes no attempt to hide his true thoughts and feelings for the blond bombshell. Suffice to say the Secret Avenger doesn't reciprocate as she takes Kevin to meet the original Cap. Here, DeFalco gives readers of Christos Gage's Avengers Academy a nod as Steve Rogers recognizes Kevin's behavior and tells the young Masterson there will always be a spot in the school for him. (Note: If you haven't picked up Avengers Academy, do so as it is a school where the students have the potential to become more of a villain than a hero!) We get more of the same with Kevin's bad attitude as he is handed an apparently non-working Thunderstrike! From there, Kevin literally runs into the super-villain -- one of my all time favorites -- the Rhino! It's not hard to guess where this is all leading; as we see a silloutte from Valhalla descend to earth, Thunderstrike returns! However, DeFalco takes the reader for a spin, the outcome of which readers of the Thunderstrike of old should enjoy. Speaking of the Thunderstrike of old, we are also given a glimpse as to what became of Eric Masterson -- or perhaps of what did not become of the original Thunderstrike -- and I shall say no more! The artwork complimented the story as it depicted the three different generations of superheroes in their own light. Steve Rogers was given his 1940s-50s look, hair curl and all, which I take is a result of Buscema's finishes; flashback scenes with Thunderstrike and the Avengers more reminiscent of the ‘90s; and with Kevin Masterson, we were given a particularly great battle scene which gave him his own room to shine.  Of course, Bruno Hang did a wonderful job with the colors. Overall, it was a nicely done book and felt like a superhero title should be -- vibrant, fun and exciting. There is a back-up by DeFalco and I Am An Avenger #3 artist Todd Nauck which sheds some light on the silhouette from Valhalla and gives us the background on the original Thunderstrike. Plus, it is here we learn the fate --or not -- of Eric Masterson. It's always a good thing when the back-up is just as enjoyable to read and look at as the main feature. With Thunderstike #1, readers have struck gold as it's a terrific read filled with great art and one heck of a prize from DeFalco, Frenz, Buscema and Nauck!